Using Overtype Mode

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 16, 2020)

Overtype mode is an editing mode in which everything you type replaces something else in your spreadsheet. Many word processing users will be familiar with the concept of overtype mode. When overtype mode is active, and you type a letter, it replaces the letter to the right of the insertion point. When overtype mode is not active, your text is inserted where the insertion point is located.

Excel allows you to use overtype mode when you are editing the contents of a cell. You can tell when overtype mode is active in two ways. First, by the effect it has on the contents of a cell (as described in the previous paragraph). Second, the status bar will have an indicator that says OVR. This indicator is at the right side of the status bar.

To turn on overtype mode, you first need to start editing the contents of a cell. Once you are editing, press the Ins key. The OVR indicator should appear on the status bar, and what you type will replace the existing contents of the cell, one character at a time.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2028) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Stepping Through a Macro with a Worksheet Visible

When developing a macro, it is often necessary to step through the various code lines so you can see what is happening on ...

Discover More

Returning a Worksheet Name

Need to know the name of the current worksheet? You can use the CELL function as the basis for finding this information ...

Discover More

Printing a Full Style Sheet

Word supports the use of styles (they are very powerful), but it doesn't provide a way to get a full-featured style sheet ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Forcing Input to Uppercase

If you type information into a workbook, you may want to make sure that what you type is always stored in uppercase. ...

Discover More

Turning Off Automatic Capitalization

Type some information into a worksheet, and you may notice that Excel automatically capitalizes some of your information. ...

Discover More

Cleaning Up Lists

When you have huge amounts of data you need to check for matches, Excel may not be the best tool to use. If you can fit ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.